Kuwait outperforms globally in most dimensions … particularly income and infrastructure: BCG

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BCG’s global report on sustainable economic dev progress places Kuwait in 2nd quartile

KUWAIT CITY, Aug 14: Kuwait is in the 2nd quartile globally when it comes to well-being, according to a recently released report by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), striking a balance between Well-Being and Growth: The 2018 Sustainable Economic Development Assessment. Kuwait outperforms other GCC countries in the dimensions of income and employment but trails behind in the other dimensions.

The report found that wealthier countries show higher well-being levels, and overall, Kuwait’s well-being performance is good but losing ground; the country is below global average when it comes to converting wealth into well-being, and of countries with a similar starting level of well-being, Kuwait is in the 4th quartile of change.

The finding runs counter to conventional wisdom that countries must make trade-offs between policies that support economic growth and those that elevate the well-being of their citizens. The research, based on BCG’s proprietary  Sustainable Economic Development Assessment (SEDA), a comprehensive diagnostic tool that assesses the relative well-being of countries, reveals that there is actually a virtuous cycle between well-being and growth in which gains in one power progress in the other.

“BCG has been a strong advocate of the need for countries to focus policies and development strategies on improving well-being,” notes Joao Hrotko, a BCG partner and coauthor of the report. “But there remains a belief that policies aimed at improving well-being may lead to weaker GDP growth. Our analysis finds this tradeoff can be avoided. In fact, an approach that balances both well-being and growth is not just advisable under normal circumstances – it is equally important during times of crisis. In such periods, countries must resist the temptation of pursuing policies that come at the expense of promoting well-being.”

Kuwait is weak but improving in infrastructure, health and economic stability. Conversely, the country is good but losing ground in employment and income – it continues to outperform global counterparts in this dimension – and equality to some extent. It is also weak and losing ground in the governance, education, civil society and environment dimensions.

“Kuwait performs better than its GCC peers in the dimensions of income and employment,” said Alexander Tuerpitz, Partner and Managing Director at BCG Middle East. “For countries that already enjoy a relatively high level of well-being, our analysis points to the importance of prioritizing education and employment. Progress in these mutually reinforcing areas can better prepare citizens—and therefore society as a whole – for the challenges presented by globalization and relentless technological change.”

Kuwait performance over the past 10 years

“In the past decade, Kuwait dropped six places in the SEDA ranks. Kuwait shows the lowest level of wealth to well-being conversion among its GCC peers, despite a small increase over the last decade, and continues to perform below the global average,” said Tuerpitz.

Over the last ten years, Kuwait has made slightly stronger progress in health and environment but lesser progress in the remaining dimensions; in fact, it is receding in governance at -11 points and equality at -7 points. Kuwait has also experienced negative growth figures across the dimensions of education (-3 points), income (-2 points), civil society (-2 points), and economic stability (-1 point). Having said that, Kuwait has experienced strong growth in infrastructure at 16 points, as well as growth in environment at 4 points and health at 1 point in the last decade.


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